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 but what about the rest? 
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I totally agree with Delorme about this matter. Nesta Webster says the same thing, pretty much. That is why it is important to study Louis XVI in order to fully understand Antoinette, since he was her husband, after all. Especially since by the time the Revolution started, Louis and Antoinette had become such a team, working and planning together how to handle the crises. The death of Louis-Joseph also brought them closer together - they were both heartbroken over that little boy and missed him when everyone else had forgotten him.

Webster thinks that Fersen was only a good friend to Antoinette, and she does not think there is even enough proof of an infatuation. I can see the queen flirting with Artois, Fersen and other gentlemen, and maybe having adolescent crushes (which are normal). But even of such innocent infatuations, there is no proof, no proof of what was in the privacy of her heart.

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Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:13 pm
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Therese wrote:
IWebster thinks that Fersen was only a good friend to Antoinette, and she does not think there is even enough proof of an infatuation. I can see the queen flirting with Artois, Fersen and other gentlemen, and maybe having adolescent crushes (which are normal). But even of such innocent infatuations, there is no proof, no proof of what was in the privacy of her heart.


As of yet there is nothing I can report that has changed my mind. BUT I also have much to read. (and Ihave not forgotten the Josephines) lol

I am not a great writer so it is hard to explain. I am wondering how to separate the wheat from the shaft. How can so many authors be right with their research about her life until they get to Ferson than all of a sudden they are just wrong?

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Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:20 pm
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Because, dear Melly, some writers like to sell thousands of books with with stories of love affairs which may or may not have happened.

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Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:28 pm
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Therese wrote:
Because, dear Melly, some writers like to sell thousands of books with with stories of love affairs which may or may not have happened.


I am sorry, I don't understand. I am talking about the people who are considered great historians. And we read the book and agree with everything until we get to Fersen then everyone takes sides.

("We"): This is in English the general 'we' not personal 'we'.

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Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:50 pm
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[quote="melly I am talking about the people who are considered great historians. [/quote]

So am I! But many of the serious historians, the professional scholars like Simon Schama, not the popular authors who write biographies for a mass market, are skeptical of the Fersen story. I refer to people like Girault de Coursac, Delorme, Bertiere and Webster.

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Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:32 am
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Therese wrote:
"melly I am talking about the people who are considered great historians.

So am I! But many of the serious historians, the professional scholars like Simon Schama, not the popular authors who write biographies for a mass market, are skeptical of the Fersen story. I refer to people like Girault de Coursac, Delorme, Bertiere and Webster.


Yes, but do you see the problem? 'We read' all of these books and agree with their assessment of the Queen's life, UNTIL they get to Fersen. Then it "OH No, you are wrong about that"...(either way one feels about Fersen's relationship with the Queen)

(I had the same issues with MQofS and the Plot to kill Darnley)

Oh, and I do amend my earlier post. I have changed my mind about one thing, I do not think she loved Fersen.

I think crush, 'small love' may be a better way to describe how she may have felt in the early years. Clearly she did not mourn when he was away from court.

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Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:54 am
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Many factors must be taken into consideration : first of all (it is sad, but...), many scholars just copy each others. It is a traditional sign of erudition. They copy and quote each other's opinions. It is actually the best way for transmitting mistakes !

(For instance, this legend of Antoinette pu entirely nacked on this island while arriving in France. It was a mistake made by Mme Campan. In how many books do you find this however ? Since, at least, a well inspired scholar had this good idea... and verified archives !)

In this view, the Fersen affair is not the only matter I disagree with some authors. My preferred exercice is too read Antoinette's letters, with her own writing, if possible. I can tell you I found inaccuracies in very serious books !

Some were made on purpose : Chalon just misquoting Antoinette for proving she did not love Mme de Polignac that much - would you call that historical criticism ? Others were unattentional mistakes. False letters adressed to Mme de Lamballe or to Mme de Polignac, for instance.

Although, I still think Chalon's bio is interesting, for, after all, each book brings us some different angle, some new perspective on Antoinette. That's why I think you may disagree with someone on one point, and still accept the rest. Or you can agree on one point only...

Finally, dear melly, this Fersen affair is not the only point I feel uncomfortable with... Many authors just hate Mme de Polignac, while, from Antoinette's letters, it is obvious that they deeply loved each other. People generally compare Mme de Polignac (yeark !) to Mme de Lamballe (hum...), the demon to the angel, for we like to put characters into small boxes, don't we ?

The world seems so easier this way... :lol:

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Last edited by Pimprenelle on Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:03 am
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Gutta cavat lapidem non vi, sed saepe cadendo...

(I try to translate..a drop will make a hole to the stone, not by force but dropping often)


Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:38 am
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Pimprenelle wrote:

(For instance, this legend of Antoinette pu entirely nacked on this island while arriving in France. It was a mistake made by Mme Campan. In how many books do you find this however ? Since, at least, a well inspired scholar had this good idea... and verified archives !)


Actually You hit on something I was going to bring up later:

this issue Of the disrobement is addressed in 3 books I have recently read.
Evelyne Lever -page 18- considers it the work of 'lewd imagination' (but there is nothing, at least in the English version, to back her up....I am one who needs a bit more than her word.

Antonia Fraser says (page 61 ft note) "Madame Campan's claim that the Dauphine was totally undressed has sometimes been treated sceptically on the grounds that the writer was not personally present; But Madame Capan's father-in-law, to whom she was very close, was part of the handover party. Other sources describe the Dauphine as changing her clothes or being dressed, which presupposes being undressed. That the ritual had not yet been abandoned is very clear from the fact that it was applied to Josephine of Savory, marrying the Comte de Provence three years later"

(so it Fraser wrong?)

Also in Caroline Weber's Queen of Fashion Page 302 notes 8.8:
" I should note here that although Marie Antoinette's ritual disrobement is described in virtually every biographical and scholarly account I have read of the remise, the biographer Evelyne Lever dismisses it as the product of "some historians lewd imaginations." she does not, however offer any compelling evidence to support this view. "(end Weber quote)

Weber also go on in another foot note to mention another princess disrobed and handed over this way and also mentions she did her own translating unless noted otherwise.

So is she also wrong?

The point is we can only take what we are given by these people - using our memory and common sense we can piece together a certain amount of truth, and like with Fersen we can guess, we may even guess well, but we can never really know.

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Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:46 am
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I can't check in my books, dear Melly, for I am sitting at school... I would rely on my memory, sorry. I also read by many scholars that this entire disrobement was an invention of Mme Campan.

This would not be impossible, since Mme Campan often makes mistakes and even lies. Furthermore, she was just a chambermaid, and portraies herself as a close friend of the queen !

I positively remember I have read somewhere that the accurate information comes from offical descriptions of the time. This old disrobement habit was abandoned for Marie-Antoinette. She was never put nacked, but simply changed her clothes, normally.

I'll check this (remind me please...) but it may come from the Giraut de Coursac, for they collected a huge amount of archives. I think I also read this by Bertiere, and more recently in a brilliant student's thesis.

Anyhow, I am positive. References will follow. You can rely on the information.

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Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:27 am
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Dear Pimp,
I was out for a few days.

I would be delighted with what ever you can help me. I hope you understand it is my nature which makes me question all things and not take history at face value.

This must be a terrible bore for you to have to deal with such basics.

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Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:39 am
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I think, we all post here from our free will, if we want to. There is no responsability for anyone to "teach" the other members.


Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:26 am
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Aurora wrote:
I think, we all post here from our free will, if we want to. There is no responsability for anyone to "teach" the other members.


Yes, but where are you coming from with this? Who has asked to be taught?

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Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:39 am
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Quote:
I would be delighted with what ever you can help me. I hope you understand it is my nature which makes me question all things and not take history at face value.


Dear melly, what do you mean, exactly ?

Maybe you are asking for these references you asked me to search for. Well... I am currently reading several books myself, for my personal education, so that I had no time yet for thinking of yours, dear. But just open the Giraut de Coursac's "Vie politique, vie conjugale", or Delorme's or Bertiere's "Marie-Antoinette", I guess you'll find all the required information about this disrobement. Certainly Mme Lever, who is a very serious scholar, also mentioned some footnotes.

Merci, très chère Aurora ! Being a teacher almost each day of my life, I am happy to have a break for Halloween, now ! :wink:

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Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:48 am
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Aurora wrote:
Gutta cavat lapidem non vi, sed saepe cadendo...

(I try to translate..a drop will make a hole to the stone, not by force but dropping often)


I have never heard that quote. It is about persistence? Gaining something by not giving up?

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Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:54 am
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